10 Ingredient Pantry Pasta Dish: Pasta with Kale, Garlic and Chiles

Picture 1 - Fryer chile flakes, garlic and capers
Picture 2 - Adding chopped fresh kale
Picture 3 - Addition of cooked pasta to pans with kale and 
A Pasta Dish Straight From the Pantry was posted in the New York Times April 9, 2013, written by Melissa Clark. It’s a version of a dish I’m certain many of us home cooks have in our virtual back pockets: some kind of pasta, with olive oil, some garlic, some kind of green and some kind of cheese - mine is with frozen peas. As a food allergy coach, I encourage my clients to have go-to dishes that are easy to make, free of their allergens and yummy.

This version of this basic recipe meets those criteria and I especially like it for the addition of frying the capers and the red chile flakes, two things I always have on hand and forget to use. Lemon at the end is a must – it brightens the kale and the lifts pasta.  I altered the recipe to suit my food allergies and food intolerance needs - I’m fish allergic and wheat intolerant and it called for wheat pasta and anchovies. Alter it to suit your own food allergy needs and pantry dinner is served in no time!


Pasta with Kale, Garlic and Chiles
Adapted from A Pasta Dish Straight From the Pantry by Melissa Clark
Yield 2 servings

Salt, as needed
1/2 pound pasta (I used Tinkyada organic rice pasta)
3 tablespoons good olive oil, more for drizzling
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, to taste
4 fat garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry with a paper towel to encourage   browning
1 small bunch kale, chopped (or use 3 large handfuls chopped kale)
Black pepper
Squeeze of lemon
Grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional and omit if dairy allergic)

1. Bring a heavily salted pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Add chiles and a pinch of salt and toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add smashed garlic and capers. (Picture 1.) Cook until everything is golden and the capers look crisp around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Add kale and 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and sauté until kale wilts and cooks in the pan and is well coated with oil, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Picture 2.)
4. Add drained pasta and toss well. (Picture 3.) Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with a squeeze of lemon. I like it with some grated Parmesan cheese, but it's not vital.


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